Tiger shrimp, Penaeus monodon. (Photo: Self CC BY-SA 3.0)
Asian shrimp imports stopped
Monday, April 22, 2013, 22:00 (GMT + 9)
The Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food (Sagarpa) has decided to temporarily stop the import of live, raw, cooked, lyophilized species or in any other type of presentation of Asian tiger shrimp (Penaeus monodon) and white shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei), coming from China, Vietnam, Malaysia and Thailand.
The aim of the measure is to safeguard the shrimp farming industry in Mexico.
The National Service of Health, Food Safety and Food Quality (Senasica) explained that this precautionary initiative was made taking into account that in those countries there is a new disease affecting shrimp, called Early Mortality Syndrome (EMS) or Acute Hepato-Pancreatic Necrosis Syndrome (AHPNS).
This condition, which has been confirmed by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), causes massive mortality of up to 100 per cent of the crustaceans and appears within the first 20 or 30 days from stocking.
The disease affects particularly Asian tiger shrimp and white shrimp species. It appeared in shrimp farms in southern China and then it spread to Vietnam, Malaysia and Thailand, stated the Sagarpa.
The measure that was adopted by the Mexican authorities also extends to non-affected export countries intending to market their products in Mexico. In this case, they must certify that the shrimp specimens are sourced and come from syndrome-free regions.
According to the National Commission of Aquaculture and Fisheries (Conapesca, shrimp imports from these Asian countries amount to about 9,000 tonnes per year, so Asian shrimp import ban will not affect the Mexican market.
Today, Mexico has 1,382 fish farms in an area having 71,442 hectares, involved in farming the variety Litopenaeus vannamei. These farms are located mainly in the northeastern states of the country.
In 2012, Mexico produced about 99,179 tonnes of farmed shrimp, according to statistics from the Conapesca.
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By Analia Murias